LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The first “virtual adoption” in Lubbock County took place Friday morning via Zoom.
At 8:30 a.m., Rusty and Whitney Smith officially adopted 15-month-old Khailynn during a Zoom video conference meeting.
The Smith family fostered Khailynn through the nonprofit Buckner International and Buckner Foster Care and Adoption. The adoption was streamed live on Youtube and Judge Kelley Tesch presiding.
This is not the first time Rusty and Whitney have fostered a child. Khailynn is now the fourth child the Smith family has fostered, but Khailynn will be the couples’ first adoption.
The move to a remote adoption was in accordance with Lubbock County’s public health orders to limit social gatherings and practice social distancing. The family, judge, lawyers, CPS workers and Buckner staff all participated through Zoom.
Rusty, Whitney and Khailynn all wore matching shirts for the virtual adoption. The shirts read “I stole their hearts, now I’m stealing their last name." All the family, even those not shown on the video, had matching shirts with their names on them.
The virtual adoption can be seen in the video below:
Despite the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the pandemic, Buckner staff reports there is a continued need for foster families and adoptive homes for children.
According to Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ records, there were 602 children waiting to be adopted in the Amarillo-Lubbock area last year, with a total of 7,788 state-wide.
Buckner also provides humanitarian aid and crisis relief to poverty-stricken children and families. Learn more and get involved at Buckner.org/Lubbock.